Massimo DiVuolo’s childhood in Italy served as an inspiration to go into the restaurant business. To serve the cuisine of his native land would lead most people – including Di Vuolo himself – to believe his wine list would heavily lean toward varietals and producers of Italian origin.
But in choosing the wines for Due Lire, a cheerful Italian restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Square, Di Vuolo found that the best way to provide an eclectic dining experience was to assemble a list that travels the world.
“At the beginning, I was going to do all Italian,” Di Vuolo says. “But I was surprised how much great wine I could get from some wonderful, different regions. The objectives here are value and food-driven wines. And when I find a good wine that pairs with our food, it will be added to our list.”
Soon, DiVuolo will be displaying his knack for embracing wine’s international renown with a new series of events. Beginning on Thursday, September 1 (“Cabernet Day”), Due Lire is offering a weekly wine event: Specialty flights of wine. The flights are three pours of 2.5 ounces of wine for $12.
All wines have been selected by DiVuolo to not only pair with Chef Kevin Abshire’s original take on Italian cuisine, but also are not typically available by the glass. Due Lire’s full dinner menu will be available. And yes, there’s plenty of wine from Italy, too.
The schedule for the first two weeks’ events is below:
Week One: Thursday, September 1
Cabernet Day Flight $12
The “Cabernet Day” flight highlights how the Cabernet grape is used in Italian winemaking.
1. Lagona Aia Vecchia 2008: Super Tuscan style blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. An example of the independent Tuscan winemaking approach
2.Tenuta Sant’Antonio Capitel del Monte 2007: Softer approach to Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Veneto: Softer tannins, a little lighter in the body with long, velvety flavors.
3. Umberto Cesari Liano 2007: Blend of Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon from Emilia Romagna, featuring power and personality. Perfectly rounded wine with great tannins and a subtle aroma of vanilla, dark fruit and spices: a gem.
Week Two: Wednesday, September 7
German-inspired wines $12
A German festival takes place the weekend after this flight in Lincoln Square. The featured wines will focus on grapes typical of German winemaking and heritage.
1. Clean Slate Riesling 2009 – Mosel, Germany: One hundred percent Riesling from the Mosel slopes. Great example of the traditional German style. Undertones of sweetness are balanced by a great minerality – a foundation of this wine’s fresh peach flavor.
2. Pojer & Sandri Muller Thurgau 2009 – Alto Adige, Italy: One hundred percent Muller Thurgau from the Dolomite Alps.
3. Andriano St. Magdalener 2008 – Alto Adige, Italy: Blend of Schiava/Lagrein – indigenous grapes from the Sudtirol, once part of the Austrian Empire.
Note: More of Due Lire’s Weekday Wine Flight schedule to come in subsequent columns.